Placing a Bluebird Nest Box

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Photo of Eastern Bluebirds

Eastern Bluebird
Photo by NC Bluebird Organization

It’s nearly Spring and the birds will soon be actively gathering material to build their nests. One of the most beloved birds known for their vivid blue color and sweet song is the Eastern Bluebird.

One way to attract bluebirds to your yard is to provide a nest box. Bluebirds prefer a nesting box with a hole either 1 ½ inches in diameter round or 2 ¼ inches tall and 1 3/8 inches wide oval. They like an open habitat of fields or lawns with sparse trees. You’ll want to place a nesting box in an environment they prefer. A word of caution: Golf courses, cultivated fields, gardens, and yards are potentially good habitats for nest boxes, but avoid areas where pesticides and herbicides are used. These are not only harmful to birds, they decrease and sometimes eliminate the insect populations that are the primary food source for many cavity-nesting species.

Nesting boxes should be placed on a pole about 3 – 6 feet in height with a predatory guard to prevent cats, snakes and other predators from getting to the nest. The box should face the open area with the opening facing away from the prevailing winds, preferably to the southeast. Mount the box in such a way that it can easily be removed for repairs when needed.

For more information visit the North Carolina Bluebird Society or NestWatch.

Written by Marcee Rollandi, Master Gardener Volunteer